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The beautiful, exclusive Dual Ghia automobiles were built in the late 1950's as a collaborative effort of some of the industry's best minds. Virgil Exner did the design, Carrozzeria Ghia built the bodies using a chassis from Chrysler, all under the enterprising eyes of Eugene Casaroll's Dual Motors Company based in Michigan.
Dual Motors sold 117 Dual Ghia cars, all convertibles, before ending the production in 1958. The hand-built, V8 powered cars had a base price of a little over $7,600, which was only about $1,000 more than the top-of-the-line Cadillacs at that time.
Prospective Dual Ghia purchasers were personally screened by Casaroll, deciding who "qualified" to be a Dual Ghia owner. Those lucky enough to measure up included Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Eddie Fisher, who bought one for Debbie Reynolds.
The design team at Ghia began work on a coupe-bodied version using as a basis the Ghia Gilda show car. The new prototype was named the "400" and featured big Chrysler-like tail fins. The reception of the new design was less than enthusiastic. So, as the say, back to the drawing board.
Virgil Exner completely redesigned the rear, removing the fins, and changing the rear window to sweep gracefully into the rear decklid. The results were stunning as was the price of the new coupe - $13,500. The total production run of the 1961 Dual Ghia Coupe was 25 cars.
You can see our photos of both the 400 and Coupe prototypes above.
One interesting change from the Coupe prototype to the production model was the raising of the roof by 1 1/2 inches at the request of the purchaser of the first car - Frank Sinatra, who like to wear a hat, even while driving.